The president’s nominee for Minister of State at the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development, Osei Bonsu Amoah has been outlining the rationale for government’s move to partner with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to collect property tax.
In order to assure cost recovery by the government in providing the infrastructure for the collection of the property rate, it was indicated that a share ratio would be decided upon with the Assemblies.
The idea of having GRA collect property taxes has however drawn criticism for potentially strangling assemblies.
Answering questions at his vetting in Parliament, the Akuapem South MP disagreed with the assertions.
He insisted that the collaboration with the GRA bodes well for broadening the tax net.
“The Ministry of Finance has been complaining for some time now that the amount of revenue they expect from property rates administration is a bit disappointing.”
“The assemblies have also not been able to meet the required levels because they have their own challenges, the mode of collection, the billing systems, and enforcement arrangements. We collect peanuts and at times, for years, no assessments are made. So this whole arrangement with GRA brings in a certain amount of reform and dynamism, so we reap so much from property rate. This is the best way to go.”
The government has been held accountable for failing to raise much-needed revenue through property taxes.
Property tax collection has therefore been digitalized, making it easier for Ghanaians to pay.
Now, all property owners are expected to pay for their properties using the government’s cashless system, thanks to the partnership between the GRA and Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
“Some assemblies have said that when it comes to enforcement, they are handicapped. We need a situation where people will be named and shamed and prosecuted. The law has made those provisions and we have let people know this that is why the system has been modernized”, OB Amoah added.
Property rate is a levy imposed on immovable property at a specified rate on the rateable value of a property.
The amount varies between specified areas of a district and in respect of property used for different purposes – commercial, residential or mixed-use and area classifications – first class, second class and third class.
It is an annual rate.